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  Subjects -> SCIENCES: COMPREHENSIVE WORKS (Total: 374 journals)
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Journal of the Indian Institute of Science
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.212
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 4  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0970-4140 - ISSN (Online) 0019-4964
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2468 journals]
  • Social Insects: An Evolutionary Journey into Cooperation

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      Abstract: Abstract This article is a primer on social insects, and includes salient features of eusociality, its evolution and characteristics of a few social insects. It introduces William Morton Wheeler’s landmark book “Social Life Among the Insects,” whose centenary year of publication inspired the theme of this special issue of the Journal of the Indian Institute of Science. It also gives a brief description of research on fascinating social insects being carried out in India, and how so much is yet to be explored.
      PubDate: 2023-12-21
       
  • An Indian Tribute to William Morton Wheeler

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      Abstract: Abstract William Morton Wheeler (1865–1937) was among the greatest experts on ants and his influence on the field of sociobiology, along with that of his academic grandson E.O. Wilson, is second to none. In 1923, Wheeler published his landmark book “Social Life Among the Insects” (Wheeler in Social Life among the Insects, Haracourt, Brace, New York, 1923), which marked the beginning of the modern study of insect societies. In this centenary year of its publication, we are honoured and proud to pay tribute to William Morton Wheeler.
      PubDate: 2023-12-18
       
  • Editor’s Desk

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      PubDate: 2023-12-12
       
  • A Tale of Two Wasps and Why We Should Listen to It

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      Abstract: Abstract Hymenopterans present a fascinating diversity of social organisation, from solitary individuals building unprotected nests like the potter wasps to the very complex and highly organised societies of honey bees and most ants. A large number of paper wasps have intermediate levels of social complexity, and are designated as primitively eusocial, as they lack a morphologically distinct queen caste. Nevertheless, they have behaviourally distinct queens and workers, and are excellent model systems for understanding the intermediate steps in the process of social evolution, from solitary to complex social systems. Of the many facets of social organisation, the regulation of work in the colony and the establishment and maintenance of reproductive monopoly are the two aspects that are the most intriguing to sociobiologists. Ropalidia marginata and Ropalidia cyathiformis are two species of closely related paper wasps that are found in peninsular India, in the same habitat, and have much overlap in their ecology and ethology. However, this duo is also an interesting study in contrast in several aspects of social behaviour. Hence, together, they present an excellent opportunity for comparative study, to identify crucial steps in social evolution. In this article, we provide an overview of a series of studies that have been conducted by Prof. Raghavendra Gadagkar and his team over 4 decades at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, to unravel the evolutionary tale that these two species together elucidate.
      PubDate: 2023-12-11
       
  • Getting Ants out of the Lab!

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      Abstract: Abstract This article provides an overview of the importance of outreach for biodiversity conservation and the author’s personal journey in promoting awareness about ants and their natural history, and conservation amongst the general public on ants. It also highlights the importance of educational materials such as books and posters which are important tools for outreach programmes. The article also highlights steps including Open Science that can be taken to increase outreach activities and contribute to the body of knowledge on social insects.
      PubDate: 2023-11-30
      DOI: 10.1007/s41745-023-00414-4
       
  • A Review of the Taxonomy, Biology and Distribution of the Social Wasps
           (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) of the Indian Subcontinent

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      Abstract: Abstract A review of the taxonomy, biology and distribution of social wasps belonging to the subfamilies Vespinae, Polistinae and Stenogastrinae of the following 7 countries: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and the Maldives is provided here. In India, there are at least 104 species of social wasps out of about 1100 known species worldwide and they belong to 13 genera. Polistes is the largest genus with 42 species followed by the genus Ropalidia with 27 species. Each species is provided with its current taxonomic status, along with notes on ecology, biology and distribution on the Indian subcontinent. The study of social wasps is important in several ways, as they form valuable groups to understand the evolution of social life at different levels.
      PubDate: 2023-10-27
      DOI: 10.1007/s41745-023-00411-7
       
  • How India Changed My Ideas About Honey Bees

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      Abstract: Abstract Research on honey bees, one of the most famous social insects, has been largely limited to studies on Central European populations of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera. Most researchers view the biology and social organization of this phylogenetically derived species as the blueprint for all honey bees, although there is accumulating evidence that several important characters are unique physiological or evolutionary adaptations to living in a temperate climate. The review presents a personal (re)collection of research efforts, ideas, and opinions on the neglected Asian honey bees. There are two major take-home messages: (1) it is of utmost importance that India and other tropical Asian countries increase their research efforts to study and conserve honey bees and other insect pollinators to sustain biodiversity and human nutritional demands, and (2) the study of the behavior of the phylogenetically ancestral Asian honey bees will provide us with a profound understanding of the structure and flexibility in the social organization of honey bees.
      PubDate: 2023-10-19
      DOI: 10.1007/s41745-023-00412-6
       
  • Correction: Effect of Milk and Cultured Milk Products on Type 2 Diabetes:
           A Global Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies
           

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      PubDate: 2023-10-17
      DOI: 10.1007/s41745-023-00413-5
       
  • Comparative Psychophysics of Colour Preferences and Colour Learning in
           Bees with Special Focus on Asian Social Bees

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      Abstract: Abstract Several interesting facets of bee behaviour have fascinated the human mind since historical times. Prominent amongst them is their interaction with flowers, symbolising the mutualistic nature of this relationship. In their search for flowers, bees are known to fly far from a central place—the nest or the hive—and employ multiple sensory systems, in which visual cues, especially colour plays a critical role. A lot of what we know about the visual ecology of bees, comes from just two out of more than 20,000 bee species worldwide—the Western honeybee Apis mellifera and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris. The tropics abound in bee diversity, yet woefully little is known about the behaviour and sensory ecology of tropical bees. Here, we summarise over a decade of our work on the colour preferences, colour learning and detection thresholds for colour stimuli in tropical Asian honeybees and stingless bee species. More such studies on the sensory ecology of tropical bees are essential to understand how floral traits, of which colour is salient, influences bee–flower interactions and how these interactions shaped the structure of tropical plant–pollinator networks.
      PubDate: 2023-10-01
       
  • Beekeeping for Sustainable Economic Development of India: Challenges and
           Opportunities

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      Abstract: Abstract Apiculture, in conjunction with agriculture, offers great scope for income generation through beekeeping. Pollinators provide pollination services that are crucial for enhancing crop productivity and sustaining ecosystem services. Honeybees are the important pollinators of various fruits, vegetables, oilseeds, pulses and fibre crops. In order to achieve sufficient pollination to improve productivity of crops, beekeeping industry needs encouragement. In addition to providing valuable products like honey, beeswax, nectar, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and other products, beekeeping helps to provide additional source of income and employment generation to rural masses. As per estimates only 10% of the existing potential for beekeeping has been utilized in the country and there is much untapped potential. India has a potential of over 200 million bee colonies as against 3.4 million colonies at present which can provide employment to over 6 million rural families. Organised honey collection using modern techniques can provide additional 120,000 tons of honey and 10,000 tons of beeswax from the forests. This can provide employment to 5 million tribal families. Increasing honeybee colonies shall not only increase production of bee products but aso will ensure sustainability of food production through enhanced agricultural and horticultural crop production. Beekeeping industry and its expansion faces several challenges which need to be addressed to make this industry more profitable.
      PubDate: 2023-10-01
       
  • Building Castles on the Ground: Conversations Between Ecologists and
           Engineers

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      Abstract: Abstract The architectural feats of termites and their farming capabilities have been admired by biologists, engineers and architects and have inspired writers including early natural historians. South India is endowed with termite mud castles; their seeming impregnability threw up intellectual challenges, initiating conversations between biologists and engineers. The biologists were interested in how termites kept their farmed basidiomycete fungus free from parasites and discovered experimentally that termites can sniff out parasitic ascomycete fungi, proceed to anoint them with broad-spectrum fungicides and bury them resulting in mortality-yielding anoxia. High levels of humidity and carbon dioxide inside soil nests are conducive to the growth of parasitic fungi whose density is likely actively supressed by eradication of incipient foci of parasite growth by the termite farmers. The engineers were interested in how the mound acquired its strength, stability and longevity while allowing gas exchange. They discovered that the safety factor of termite mounds is very high, that termite-manipulated soil achieves great strength and weathering resistance, that termites manipulate the water content of soil between its plastic and liquid limits and that mounds have a more porous exterior shell and a less porous core. Dialogues between biologists and engineers have enabled insights into the bio-engineering aspects of animal-built architecture. The natural biological constraints of the termite builders (e.g. size, load-carrying ability in relation to particle grain size, caste) and available material (red soil containing organic matter) in the presence of water have been realistically incorporated into modelling the greenhouses that harbour termites and their crops.
      PubDate: 2023-10-01
       
  • Marching with Ants to a New Nest: Colony Composition and Relocation
           Dynamics of Diacamma indicum

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      Abstract: Abstract In this review, we journey with Diacamma indicum a Ponerine ant over the past decade as they relocate to new nests and discover the challenges they face along the way and how they solve them. Colony relocation is a goal-oriented dynamic task that involves all the colony members and impacts the colonies’ fitness. After explaining how I [SA] initiated this journey, we examine colony composition of this species by analysing data from 1200 colonies collected over the past 13 years. On average colonies contain 89.35 (Standard Deviation = 38.79) adult females, 0.29 (SD = 1.19) males and 56.6 (SD = 42.53) brood items of different development stages and these were significantly impacted by seasonality such that pre-monsoon colonies had the highest numbers. After explaining how colonies are collected and maintained in the lab, we explore the architecture of the subterrain nests in the natural habitat. Colonies live in relatively simple single-chambered nests that do not change significantly across seasons and consist of an entrance tunnel and a secondary runoff tunnel. All members of the colony are recruited to the new nest site by tandem running and this species shows the highest documented tandem running speeds at 4.35 body lengths per second and a path efficiency of 83.95% with only 2.4% of tandem runs being unsuccessful in the natural habitat. Even in lab conditions, when colonies are given defined paths of different lengths, colonies showed significant preference to travel through short paths, highlighting their ability to optimize their path even in the absence of chemical trails. A combination of experiments in the natural habitat and controlled experiments in the lab which are anchored in the umwelt of the organism has enabled us to understand how D. indicum functions and has revealed the selective forces that are operating on the organization and performances of relocation. Our journey has brought to light answers to several questions but has also opened up several more avenues for exploration, branching out in different directions. With time and dedicated minds, we hope to continue on this route to marvel at and unravel the achievements of these superorganisms.
      PubDate: 2023-10-01
       
  • A Review of Our Meagre Knowledge of Asian Polistes, and a Call for More
           Studies

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      Abstract: Abstract Polistes is considered as one of the most widely and abundantly distributed, speciose genera of primitively eusocial wasps. The biology and behaviour of Polistes have been crucial to understanding the cooperation and conflicts among the nest members and have contributed greatly to our understanding of the functionality and evolution of eusociality. However, despite the wide geographical distribution, our perception of the genus has been shaped largely by the studies on the temperate species of Polistes. The diversity of Polistes species in Asia has been reflected through taxonomic reports but their nesting biology and behaviour are mostly unknown. Empirical studies on their behaviour in response to alternate conditions, like experimental removal of the queens, availability of extra food, etc. are also rare. The geographical origin of Polistes is also disputed. The speculation that Polistes originated in oriental regions can neither be confirmed nor refuted due to the lack of knowledge on Asian Polistes. Such missing information creates a large lacuna in our understanding of the origin and routes of dispersal of the genus. Here, we review the scattered studies on Asian Polistes and attempt to summarise and analyse the available taxonomic, behavioural and phylogenetic information. To date, 76 Polistes species have been reported from 31 Asian countries, out of which Vietnam, India and Japan have the maximum numbers of species. We also review the available behavioural studies on Polistes, mostly qualitative and conducted in Japan to show how these can provide a different perspective on Polistes biology. We also try to point out the major questions that need to be answered to get a broader overview of Asian Polistes. We suggest that more behavioural and phylogenetic studies on various species of Asian Polistes could provide the answers to questions like the geographic origin of the species, the evolution of hibernation (reproductive diapause) in the species, the diversification of nest founding strategies, the queen control on worker reproduction, etc.
      PubDate: 2023-09-20
      DOI: 10.1007/s41745-023-00402-8
       
  • Recruitment Strategies and Foraging Patterns of Ants: What Shapes Them and
           Why'

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      Abstract: Abstract The effectiveness of procuring food by any ant colony depends upon the strategies adopted while recruiting the foragers to fetch food and the geometry of paths that these recruited foragers employ for searching and harvesting the food. This paper analyzes these recruitment strategies and search paths adopted by ants, and attempts a synthesis of the possible evolutionary process shaping them. Ants exhibit a wide range of recruitment strategies that differ in the size of the foraging team and the interactions among its members. It is shown that these diverse strategies are strongly associated with the size of the ant colony. Small colonies recruit individual foragers, while large colonies recruit foragers en mass; moderate size colonies exhibit a mix of these strategies. This association between the colony size and foraging group is argued to be a consequence of the crisis in processing information in large colonies. While in small colonies, collective decisions to recruit individuals (and small groups) can be easily arrived at, by the ants at the colony level, in large colonies, the tsunami of information flow in space and time creates a crisis for integrating and processing the data. As a result, the task of recruitment is inevitably shifted from the nest level to the foraging paths where individuals are entrusted to self-recruit based on the information gathered by them; this leads to a seamless and spatially dynamic recruitment of workers resulting in an en mass foraging strategy. Further, the size of the recruited team is also shown to be shaping the geometry of the foraging paths. While individual foragers search and harvest food in a circular or sinusoidal movement pattern, the en mass foragers adopt trails or columns that grow and branch out in a bifurcating system. These foraging paths adopted by different group sizes are shown to be very effective in ‘managing’ the complex substrates they forage on, and also to be very efficient in maximizing the benefit-to-cost ratios of foraging.
      PubDate: 2023-09-20
      DOI: 10.1007/s41745-023-00403-7
       
  • Surviving in the Himalayas: A Story of Endurance in Ants

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      Abstract: Abstract The Himalayan Mountain system is a hotspot of biodiversity and harbors endemic flora and fauna. Different groups of organisms have speciated and proliferated in its abode. Ants of genus Myrmica are one such group whose diversification coincides with the formation of Himalayas. The species of this group are cold hardy and have adopted several survival strategies to cope with the harsh environmental conditions. The odyssey from egg to queen in Myrmica species takes about 1.5 years as these species must over-winter twice to complete its journey. Apart from their life cycle, these species form associations with other ant species residing in Himalayas, which are termed as social parasitism. From getting food from other ant species to raiding their nests for brood to manipulating worker force of host for its well-being are some of the associations observed in these Himalayan ants. A detailed account of natural history of Himalayan Myrmica species is provided herewith.
      PubDate: 2023-09-19
      DOI: 10.1007/s41745-023-00408-2
       
  • Editor’s Desk

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      PubDate: 2023-09-02
      DOI: 10.1007/s41745-023-00409-1
       
  • Planetary Protection Policy and Technology Needs to Enable Future Robotic
           and Crewed Missions

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      PubDate: 2023-09-02
      DOI: 10.1007/s41745-023-00398-1
       
  • Special Issue on Astrochemistry and Astrobiology

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      PubDate: 2023-08-19
      DOI: 10.1007/s41745-023-00407-3
       
  • Suzanne Wellington Tubby Batra: A Life Dedicated to Pollen Bees

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      Abstract: Abstract Insect sociobiology is the research field that focusses on how and why some lineages of insects abandoned their solitary life styles to live in social groups. The simplest insect social groups are herds, groups of individuals that live together for a portion of their lives, sometimes cooperating with each other, and even helping to rear each other’s offspring. Figuring out the advantages and disadvantages of cooperation and group living is one of the primary research foci in insect sociobiology. Almost any student of animal behaviour or entomology has heard about eusocial insects, especially the best known eusocial insects, namely honeybees, ants, and termites that live in large colonies composed of one or a few queens and hundreds, thousands or even millions of workers. In eusocial societies, most eggs are laid by queens but the work of raising the brood that develop from those eggs, is done by workers. What many scientists and other enthusiasts of social insects do not realize, is that the original meaning of the term eusocial was different and that it was coined by a pioneering entomologist, Dr. Suzanne Batra, almost 60 years ago. Batra’s contributions to sociobiology were often overlooked, as happened to many women scientists of the time, but in recent years, her contributions to sociobiology have achieved increased and long overdue recognition.
      PubDate: 2023-07-04
      DOI: 10.1007/s41745-023-00375-8
       
  • Yeasts in the Era of Astrobiological Research

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      Abstract: Abstract Due to their extraordinary genetic and phenotypic plasticity, yeast and yeast-like fungi have been able to adapt and colonize a wide range of ecological niches. Pigmented and nonpigmented extremophilic yeasts have been discovered in areas on Earth characterized by physical and chemical conditions similar to those found in extraterrestrial environments. Thus, these "simple" eukaryotic life forms have evolved unique genetic, metabolic, and phenotypic characteristics for coping with extreme conditions, existing in both natural (polar continents, deep sea, stratosphere, etc.) and manmade environments such as the cleanrooms where spacecraft are built. This makes them ideal test organisms for astrobiology research. All of the results from the numerous experiments in which they have been tested are helping us to understand what to look for and where in space missions searching for signs of present and/or past life. Meanwhile, we must continue to explore the most inhospitable places on Earth to discover new promising extremophiles that could be used as model organisms for astrobiology research.
      PubDate: 2023-07-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s41745-023-00378-5
       
 
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  Subjects -> SCIENCES: COMPREHENSIVE WORKS (Total: 374 journals)
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